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Exploratory Well Hits 'Significant' Pay in GOM's Green Canyon

Exploratory Well Hits 'Significant' Pay in GOM's Green Canyon

An exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico Puma prospect, located in Green Canyon block 823, has hit a "significant" discovery in a hydrocarbon-rich area near existing developments. As operator, BP holds a 52% working interest, Unocal holds 15% and the remaining 33% is held by BHP Billiton Ltd.

The Puma well spudded on Aug. 14 and was drilled in 4,130 feet of water. Drilled to a depth of 19,034 feet, the Puma discovery well encountered approximately 500 net feet of oil pay in Miocene-age reservoirs. Two subsequent sidetrack bores encountered oil in reservoir intervals of a similar age. Initial indications of reservoir productivity are encouraging, Unocal said, based on preliminary analysis of sidewall cores and fluid samples taken from the well.

"The Puma discovery's proximity to Mad Dog allows the option of either a stand-alone development or a tie-back, depending on future appraisal results," said Mike Bell, vice president for Unocal's Deepwater USA unit. "Puma is structurally complex and will require additional seismic data and appraisal drilling to determine the size of the field.

"The confirmation of lower and middle Miocene sands at Puma further enhances 'prospectivity' in southeast Green Canyon, where we are currently drilling the Myrtle Beach prospect. We are very pleased with what these results mean for the value of our prospect inventory in this area."

The BP-operated Puma well lies immediately to the west of the Mad Dog development (Green Canyon 826), where production startup is planned for early 2005. Mad Dog was discovered in 1999, and its net resource potential is expected to be higher than 100 MMboe, and possibly twice that (see Daily GPI, April 13, 1999).

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